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Tuesday, 1 October 1974
Page: 1487

Senator GREENWOOD (VICTORIA) -My question is directed to the Leader of the Government in the Senate in his capacity as Minister representing the Acting Prime Minister and Acting Minister for Foreign Affairs. In view of the unquestionable confirmation now available that the Government shall finance the activities of terrorist organisations in Africa, I ask: By what standard does the Government support some terrorist organisations and activities and not others? How is some terrorism respectable and other terrorism abhorrent? Is not terrorism for all purposes in all circumstances to be forthrightly condemned and not financially aided? Who is the Government attempting to delude by saying that the aid which this Government will provide will be directed to humanitarian purposes when money for such purposes allows more of the other funds of the terrorist organisations to be devoted to killings, bombings and terror?

Senator MURPHY - I gave a very full answer to that kind of question last week explaining that what we were doing was on a humanitarian basis. As I recall it some $150,000 was involved. This move is exactly in line with what was being done with a number of other important countries. I would remind the honourable senator of exactly what I said last week and of the other nations that were concerned. I am surprised that he has not accepted the answer. What he seems to be doing now is saying: 'Well, true, on a humanitarian basis you are giving medical aid and so forth, but it can be suggested that giving things for humanitarian purposes enables people to divert moneys from those purposes to some warlike or terrorist purposes'. It seems to be very dangerous and illogical if the honourable senator's contention is as I understand it, that every time somebody steps in to assist on a humanitarian basis it can be said that this enables some other people to use for a warlike purpose moneys or energy which otherwise they might devote to a humanitarian purpose. I think that is a pretty poor outlook for the whole world and all humanitarian bodies. We might as well say the same thing to the Red Cross, or some such institutionthat indirectly it is really assisting war. That kind of argument just will not go over. The information I put before the Senate last week as supplied to me is, I understand, correct. The honourable senator is not disputing the correctness of it. He just goes on to put a completly illogical and farcical argument which would not be accepted by anybody.

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